Another DIY organ console. But custom electronics!

May the force Bach be with you, visitors!

I have decided to start running this website to share the knowledge – how to build an affordable multi-manual organ console for Hauptwerk and other MIDI software. The whole setup is not yet finished because I am focused on electronics and programming mostly, not on woodwork or finish (and I have no space to work with wood, actually).

My history is short: I have always loved organ sound. But being a rookie I had no real understanding what an organ is. Starting with fabulous Roland A33 I tried to play something sounding like a BWW565 with any available VST and preset. And I loved the sound sometimes, despite how horrible it appears to me now….

Three keyboards first setup

Axiom, Roland and Keystation

One day a little thought came to my mind: “Maybe there is some software dedicated to make a sound of an organ?”. Really clever, huh?… I had no idea back than that any organ has its unique sound.

Well I googled and found the magnificent Hauptwerk. I am pretty sure you know about them already.

First thing I understood is that a single keyboard is very limiting for a rich organ compositions. So I’ve bought two additional used keyboards. Well, none of them really fit ‘organ needs’ because of keys size and shape. Here is what I had at the very beginning, top to bootom: M-Audio Axiom 61, Roland A33 and M-Audio Keystation 61ES (case removed). All keyboards are semi-weighted, but with different feel. Axiom was the best to my taste. Keystation 61 had stiffest springs and smaller size, about 1.5 cm in total width across 5 octaves, despite it is advertized as full-size keyboard.

And all off them were sold back, because white keys of all of them had ‘straight end’ – it was impossible to combine them in a console with recommended dimensions for an organ. After some searching I have found cheap and great keyboards with good keyshapes – Behringer UMX610. They fit well, their springs are not that bad (almost) and the price is right.

Organ console with Behringer Keyboards

Fatar with two Behringers

Here I have two of them with some Fatar keyboard I bought for electronics inside. Well, Fatar is useless now because custom electronic board beats it hands down.

So, let’s start from the Abstract.

P.S. Please be kind to understand that I am very amateur in English. Any mistake corrections are welcome.